Projects

BURUNDI ORPHAN RELIEF GRADUATION PROJECT
(B.O.R. – G.P.)

Overview:

  • This is a pilot program for 15 young adults and their families.

  • Project Graduation incorporates concrete, achievable objectives targeted to BOR families in extreme poverty.

  • Project Graduation is time limited. It is designed to result in self sufficiency within 24 months.

About:


Currently, Burundi Orphan Relief supports the education of more than 30 orphan children each year. Some children reach 18 years of age or more before finishing their secondary school. It is necessary to set up a sustainable exit strategy for the older children while maintaining their school attendance. The objective of the BOR graduation project is to provide sustainable support and training leading to self sufficiency to the families of these older BOR children. The B.O.R Graduation Project is a mechanism for self-sufficiency and academic success. This plan was developed by Dr. Delphin Sula, who leads the B.O.R. team in Burundi. As a public health expert with 16 years experience leading Concern’s health and nutrition programs in Burundi and a Pastor with multiple churches under his leadership, Delphin understands the needs of Burundians and is well positioned to successfully implement this program to help them.

During the initial phase, the B.O.R. Graduation Project will target 15 families with B.O.R. children aged 14 years and older. The children and families will participate in project activities for a period of 24 months.

The B.O.R. graduation model will provide concrete, achievable objectives, targeted for B.O.R. families in extreme poverty. The model is based on setting specific, achievable targets. For example, criteria will include owning productive assets or having multiple income sources. Developing these resources will enable the targeted families to keep the BOR children in school. The children will learn how to support themselves as they transition to adulthood and assume adult responsibilities.

The model includes carefully sequenced interventions. Consumption (food) support is provided for several months to ensure a breathing space for targeted families who otherwise would be too preoccupied with day to day survival. This is followed by skills training and the transfer of an income-generating asset to kick-start an economic activity. The target beneficiaries for the BOR graduation model are too poor and too vulnerable to effectively use credit to purchase a productive asset, hence the need for asset grants. Compulsory savings is introduced to build a culture of financial discipline. Access to health care ensures minimum protection against health emergencies. Finally, a 24 month period of “management coaching” through bi-weekly household visits by B.O.R. staff is planned. These interventions enable the targeted households to create a business plan and develop the confidence to stick to it. By the end of the project support period, as grants and subsidies are phased out, participants gain confidence, develop sustainable livelihoods and graduate out of the ranks of the ultra-poor.

BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE B.O.R. GRADUATION PROJECT

1. Consumption (Food) Support

Currently, Burundi Orphan Relief supports the education of more than 30 orphan children each year. Some children reach 18 years of age or more before finishing their secondary school. It is necessary to set up a sustainable exit strategy for the older children while maintaining their school attendance. The objective of the BOR graduation project is to provide sustainable support and training leading to self sufficiency to the families of these older BOR children. The B.O.R Graduation Project is a mechanism for self-sufficiency and academic success. This plan was developed by Dr. Delphin Sula, who leads the B.O.R. team in Burundi. As a public health expert with 16 years experience leading Concern’s health and nutrition programs in Burundi and a Pastor with multiple churches under his leadership, Delphin understands the needs of Burundians and is well positioned to successfully implement this program to help them.

2. Skills Training

Skills training will be centered on managing assets and running a business. To be effective, training will be practical, short, and hands on. Training will also include instilling the importance of education for the children under their care.

3. Asset Transfer

Transferring an asset to help participants jump-start a sustainable economic activity is a critical element of the B.O.R. graduation model. Options for viable livelihoods are developed through an analysis of demand constraints (for the business) and infrastructure availability. B.O.R. staff then discusses the menu of livelihood options and corresponding assets with the beneficiaries. The goal is to match the right activity to the interest and skill sets of the beneficiaries. To mitigate risks, B.O.R. will encourage beneficiaries to engage in multiple livelihoods using a diversity of assets. E.g. providing chickens for short-term income and goats for longer term returns. Protecting assets is a priority for the BOR graduation project. Price fluctuations, the absence of reliable support services, and poor infrastructure can undermine beneficiaries’ efforts to earn a decent life with their new asset. Risk mitigation could include hiring a part-time veterinarian to provide basic care to livestock or link project beneficiaries to government veterinary services.

4. Savings

Savings help beneficiaries manage risks, build resilience, and reduce the likelihood of having to sell assets when faced with a shock. Ensuring that the savings deposits are safe, accessible, and flexible is a priority, especially since beneficiaries are particularly poor and vulnerable. This program by B.O.R. will establish financial literacy. The B.O.R. staff will work with each participant to create an individual savings plan with specific goals. A collective account will be set up with a micro-finance institution. Part of the saved amount will be dedicated to coping in case of shocks such as illness, market prices fluctuations, etc. Another portion of the saving will be dedicated to specific activities of beneficiaries.

5. Regular Coaching

Monitoring and coaching will be provided by 2 B.O.R. volunteer staff. The B.O.R. staff will make biweekly visits to beneficiaries households. During these visits, the volunteers will monitor progress and address problems. More importantly, they will develop strong relational bonds with the beneficiaries. B.O.R. volunteers will become their mentors and provide coaching over the 18 to 24 month duration of the program. These staff visits will insure the participants are on track to reach their goals by the end of the program and offer guidance on how to do so. The B.O.R volunteers will also offer business planning advice, provide social support and encourage positive attitudinal changes along the way. B.O.R. staff will be regularly trained on a mix of skills and qualities, ranging from technical expertise in specific livelihoods to listening skills and empathy for beneficiaries.